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Inside the House Rules 2018 Toad and Mandy Reveal

This week’s House Rules reveal episode was brought to you by the adult film industry. After seeing the work done to convert Toady and Mandy’s master bedroom into the perfect porn set, we finally have a place to shoot these sorts of films outside the capital cities. How awesome is it to see rural areas getting an economical boost like this? I cannot wait to see how Debbie does the Dairy Farm turns out.

But seriously, this week on House Rules was quite the mixed bag. Was it shabby chic or French Provincial? French provincial or mid-Century? Industrial or luxe? The answer is that it was all of them. And it resulted in a home more confused than me at 14 when I discovered mum’s Manpower Australia poster. I’m convinced it was a young Jamie Durie who inspired me to explore design, but not necessarily for the reasons you’d expect.

Anyway, let’s not waste a moment longer in examining each room in the House Rules 2018 Toad and Mandy reveal. Because boy is there a lot to discuss!

Inside the House Rules 2018 Toad and Mandy Reveal

house rules 2018 toad and mandy entryway | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 toad and mandy laundry | TLC Interiors

Jess and Jared did the Entryway and Laundry

I don’t mind the entryway as much as some of the other rooms in this home. But it is a conflicted space. There were too many differing interior design styles and eras as play here. Some spaces have a great blend of old and new, but you have to keep that blend within one interior design style.

The fretwork spoke to the wallpaper and gave me country estate vibes, but then the styling was quite French provincial, which took me to a place my bags weren’t packed for. The panelling on the walls screamed contemporary coastal home to me and felt way too stark for a country home in Bega.

In the laundry, the style was more in-keeping with the country vibes this home needed, but the floor tiles went a step too far. These teams are far too eager to throw multiple tile styles into a room without considering focal point, the mood it will create, or how they’ll play together. The blue subway tiles are divine and they should have let those be the moment in the space.

Gorg black door though, and gorg windows. Didn’t like the sink because it feels too out of keeping with the rest of the room. It’s way too industrial, hard and cold. The contrast is too jarring. But points for trying.

house rules 2018 toad and mandy mud room | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 toad and mandy bathroom with green tiles | TLC Interiors

Josh and Brandon’s Boot Room and Bathroom

From here on in, Boot Scootin’ Boogie is my new catchphrase. When I walk into a room that feels daggy, I’m going to say, “this feels very boot scootin’ boogie”. I might even apply it to horrible food: “This tastes a little boot scootin boogie”. And I’m currently considering releasing my own cask wine called Boot Scootin Boogie – available only in country pubs.

The boot room was a disaster, we can all agree on that. Who decides that egg yolk yellow and silver pressed metal is a darling combination? The flooring has no place in a room like this, nor does the dicky strip of tiles around the top of the sink that doesn’t go all the way down the wall. That strip of egg yolk paint is going to haunt me for days. Just horrible.

Now, the bathroom. You got me here boys! This is a great example of restraint. Maybe it wasn’t intentional, but I’d like to think you knew when to stop. And it has really paid off. Wendy and LLB loved it, but Drew was not convinced. Personally, this bathroom feels like a contemporary bathroom that still gives a nod to the old – especially in a rural setting.

Now, ditch the ducks, replace them with a glass of wine, and I’m good to get in that tub. Pity the window is so modern and doesn’t open up to an amazing view. That would be dreamy.

house rules 2018 toad and mandy butlers pantry | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 toad and mandy kids bedroom | TLC Interiors

Chiara and David did the Scullery and Lenny’s Bedroom

That bloody pressed metal is going to be the death of me. Why does it keep finding its way into so many rooms? Chiara and David put it on the roof in the scullery, which was not a good look. The judges weren’t impressed with the space and neither was I.

It has absolutely nothing going for it. Reminds me a guy I dated in my early twenties actually; dull, messy, no signs of promise, and smelt oddly of potatoes. And those wall tiles. Ick, ick, ick. Running them vertically up the wall did nothing to improve the situation either. The shelving feels way too contemporary for this house as well. The sooner we move on from this the better.

Sadly Lenny’s room is not the space I want to move onto. The poor kid is going to need a pack of Nuromol on his person at all times. The migraines will be strong in this one. There are so many things jammed into this space that I can already hear Mandy yelling “clean up ya’ room”, when he’s not even responsible for the mess! #JusticeForLenny

I cannot with all the wallpaper and paint effects either. Why does a kids room not deserve one focal point, a considered spatial plan, and a floor that’s uncluttered? I’m annoyed at how many things are just thrown in here. It’s literally and figuratively a mess.

house rules 2018 toad and mandy reveal little girls room | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 toad and mandy dining room | TLC Interiors

Mel and Dave did Layla’s Room and the Dining Room

Things got better as we travelled into Layla’s room, but by no means was it a knockout. That wallpaper made a second, unwanted appearance. And we got more paint effects on the wall.

But at least they rocked a cleaner look here, and at least we have that amazing exposed brickwork to admire. I mean, I can’t see a little girl excited to see brickwork in her bedroom, but you never know. Glad the bricks were there though and wish there was more of it across the home. And that floral artwork is divine, don’t you think?

Now, let’s talk about the dining room, because I’m not as enthusiastic about it as the judges were. I’m not saying it’s a terrible room, but it’s not 10 worthy. Let’s not be dishing out the perfect scores just because we’re heading toward the end of the home makeovers. I see what you doin’!

I can appreciate the vibe they were going for here, but something about that table and chair combo (with the high chair) reminds me of a scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It might just be me, but I get vintage horror movie feels.

The artwork on the wall though: everything! The sideboard: divine! The placement of the sideboard across the window: not so divine. But we can’t have everything. I’m not a fan of the rug (that pattern just won’t leave me alone!), but I am a massive fan of the enormous skylight moment going on above that table. It brings me high levels of joy and rapture. Even if the Gotham City pendant in this space does not.

house rules 2018 toad and mandy kitchen with blue cabinetry | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 toad and mandy master bedroom with red rug | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 toad and mandy master bedroom | TLC Interiors

Kim and Michelle: We have a LOT to talk about!

Kim and Michelle took on the kitchen, master bedroom and bonus room this week. And I have so much to say about these spaces that we’ll have to break it up into multiple sections.

I don’t even want to comment much on the kitchen, because the other spaces deserve far more attention. And the kitchen was pretty good actually. I think it rivals the dining room. Light, bright, open, some colour was used, it felt clean and contemporary. So let’s not spend too much time here because Lord do I need to discuss the master.

OK, so the master bedroom, as we’ve already learnt, is clearly inspired by a porn set. You can have the cameraman in the middle of the room and film scenes in the ‘boudoir’ and then you can have him turn to film the other scene in the tub. It’s very economical from a time-is-money perspective, to be able to shoot two scenes so quickly.

And you even have the bizarre armchair right near the tub so the fluffer can ensure everyone is in peak porn mode throughout. And let’s not forget the pressed metal (my fave), which you can easily hose down at the end of the shoot.

It’s kind of the most well-thought-out porn set I’ve ever seen. Except this is meant to be a master bedroom. And for a master bedroom it is absolutely diabolical.

The two different floor materials is issue one. I know that Leigh and Kristie were responsible for the ensuite section, but really? Could they not get on the same page to at least have the spaces make sense side-by-side.

Then, we have that armchair. The pressed metal has no place in a bedroom. The twin red rugs (neither of which are the right size) are also problematic. Then we have the feature wall behind the headboard, and bedside tables that are too small, along with a bizarre shelf housing orange and turquoise towels.

Bring in the bobcat Toadfish. You’ve got a lot of gutting to do.

house rules 2018 toad and mandy living room | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 toad and mandy living room with black leather sofa | TLC Interiors

The Bonus Room was also by Kim and Michelle

Ouch. Things are not getting better here. And I do genuinely feel bad to be making so many negative comments (just ask my therapist), but someone has to identify the issues here. I can’t very well, in good conscience, have any of these looks replicated by the general public. Consider this a community service. Yes, that’s it; I’m a charitable person. I feel better already.

So the bonus rooms reminds me of the rundown share house my partner first lived in when I met him 10 years ago. And yes, it was so bad I did indeed consider if I could even continue the initial courting period. The bonus room is just such a hodge-podge of second-hand furniture finds and bad wallpaper. And of course, another dose of PRESSED METAL. This time on the roof. With a gross and undersized chandelier hanging from it.

We also have the Oriental artwork on the wall that should not have been salvaged from under the floor, with a light above it. It’s paired with a leather sofa and marble coffee table on a dowdy old rug. Is this room glam or gritty? Old or new? Chic or cheap? I can’t even get my head around it. And as you’ve probably already guessed, I need a Bex and a lie down at this point. Except there are no suitable spaces in this home to do so.

house rules 2018 toad and mandy living room with hide rug | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 toad and mandy green bathroom | TLC Interiors

Leigh and Kristie did the Lounge Room and Ensuite

The living space is so large, open, bright and light. The views are stunning. It is ripe for a gorgeous, textural, warm look and feel. But Leigh and Kristie didn’t give it that. I think I feel most annoyed by this space because the potential is so big. And living rooms are the easiest spaces to do. You literally think about function first and then craft out a room around that.

Leigh and Kristie left the lounge room feeling quite unresolved. It feels like a furniture store to me. Random objects – all lovely in their own right – have been plonked on the floor with no context. Nothing tying them together, and with many pieces that make no sense side-by-side.

This room could have taken a large sectional sofa, a plush rug and a gorgeous coffee table. The sofa could have been configured in a way that you could sit down and make the most of the view outside. Instead, Toad and Mandy got a two-seater mid-Century sofa facing a wall. And no coffee table? Why do they not get a coffee table? Nobody should have to sit on the sofa and hold their wine glass all night. That’s an RSI situation waiting to happen.

In the ensuite, I can’t. I’ve fallen into a hole of deep regret over this House Rules reveal and the ensuite has done me in. It and the master bedroom together is the worst combo I think I’ve ever seen on the show.

It feels like an optical illusion. I don’t know what’s up or down in here. It reminds me of one of those mirror mazes I went into years ago at Universal Studios. Except I got to leave it when I wanted to. No such luck for Toad and Mandy.

house rules 2018 toad and mandy dining and living room | TLC Interiors

Help me Make Sense of it All

I need to know how you feel about the House Rules 2018 Toad and Mandy reveal. I cannot carry this community service responsibility alone. And truth be told, I need you to help me make sense of it all. Is my bitchery justified? Am I being too harsh? Were there things left unsaid?

Drop me a comment below and let me know your take on it all.

Chris Sig


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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18 Responses

  1. I have spent years struggling to pay off a house, l am now in my 50s. I would never go on a show like this as everything is shit. I would walk in and see every crooked light, tap, picture. The painting and wallpaper is horrible. If you want Art Deco look at Catherine Martin and the Chrysler Building.
    The fact that everything is sponsored, yes I do love a Smeg oven, fridge, dishwasher, toaster etc, but it needs to be in a retro design, yes and put the luscious green chair in the retro house as well,
    I would prefer a show where the contestants have tradies doing the work and it is being checked.
    The contestants should have a house each, each week they are doing the same room, so it is marked fairly.
    There should be ample time for the contestants to source their furniture and styling materials. Yes I would be looking in auctions and a range of shops. The shop with a purchase would be named., so that it can be sources by others.
    I also think houses for people with disabilities and special needs would be a great idea as this would stretch any persons styling and practical skills, as there are not too many lush places designed for wheelchairs, short people, frail people etc.
    If I see another model, chippie, brother or formulaic person I will scream.

  2. Hahahahaha this review is fantastic. And you are soooo right about the master bedroom and the ensuite – WTF????? (Cue 70’s bowchickawowwow music). I guess what we DO have to remember though – they are NOT interior designers, or builders, or renovators. They are novices who are only given the stupidest amout of time to get the job done. Yes some fail, but I think some succeed well too. On another note – they need to get rid of the cardboard judge, no personality whatsoever!

    1. Oh Claire you flatter me so – and crack me up! Cue the music alright and get the fluffer on set! And you’re right, they are novices. That’s why I don’t go after them as people. I’m sure they’re all lovely. But the designs are not, for the most part. So that’s what we’re critiquing here – purely the work I see in front of me. They would benefit from having me as a judge on the show though lol.

  3. The only good thing about this show, for me, is your reviews. I couldn’t watch the show because I feel bad for the people on it. If the show was successful then you would see each couples design skills improving each week but instead you see that someone accidentally did something right. In this house, it was particularly uncomfortable because it had good potential before it was interfered with. Also, I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the trend for open ensuites.

    1. Very kind of you to say such nice things. About my recaps I mean haha. Yeah… the show is such a mixed bag. I just wish they cast people with some passion or interest in design. It would mean far better results for viewers and home owners. Now… open ensuites. I am not a fan. I can’t cope with them. Maybe I am just a private person, but I think alone time is nice – especially in the bathroom!

  4. Your bitchery is always justified! It’s not even bitchery, just stating cold hard facts! I feel confused from looking at most of those rooms!

  5. The clocks!,,,,, The bonus room looks like a before shot! I agree with everything. The open Madter Suite i didnt see that on the sdhow, and i wish i hadnt seen it now. No fliw in this hoyse. And it should have been so easy.

  6. I agree, this house gives me a headache, and the pressed metal ceiling and chandelier are just horrifying, and the god awful tiles in the ensuite are truly vomit worthy! What are these people on!!

  7. Toad should take a few more days off from the milking duties, to allow him to throw some paint over those awful tin walls.

    I get the appeal. It’s cheaper than tiles. Covers a lot of area in little time. Can be art deco or country depending on the pattern you choose. But it should never ever ever ever ever (etc) be left in the raw! Why did no one think to paint it?!

    1. I know right. I have seen it done before in a bedroom and it was painted white and it actually worked. But here in raw silver it looks like tin foil. So cheap and outdoorsy.

  8. Chris your comments had me in stitches, but seriously what a disaster if that was my house id have them arrested . I’m all for mixing tiles and pushing boundries in bathrooms but that was taking it to extremes. How did the owners react ? Were they devestated !!

    1. thanks Shellie 🙂 The owners walk through tonight and give their scores and feedback. I used to think this part was a just desserts moment, but the other week the couple walked in and loved the mess of a house. So I no longer feel confident the owners will walk in and call out what’s really wrong with the place.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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